Monday, June 21, 2010

Maine's Critters that Bug Me

Here in Maine we have four different seasons. One of my favorites is summertime. I do love our short season of warmth ! However, on my daily walks I DON'T like the pesky deer flies. Where you are, you may not have any idea of what a deer fly really is. Imagine a mini black fighter jet. This is what these look like. They buzz 'round and 'round your head until you're dizzy, then they dive bomb and land in your hair. You will inevitably try to think you are faster than they are and will slap yourself in the head trying to kill these creatures who will also inevitably bite you. One out of 10 times (if you're lucky) you will actually connect with one. The other 9 times, you will have simply hit yourself and the fly will continue to torment you.

And when I say they bite, I mean they bite. And it hurts so it's best to just keep swatting like a lunatic to keep them buzzing 'round instead of letting them land.....Come - walk with me. ;-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Aromatherapy Rose Oil

As a massage therapist, I am very familiar with the use of oils for aromatherapy. I always love it when the opportunity presents itself to make my own. The rose oil shown below is one of my favorites to create because it comes directly from my own roses. In fact, I have so many old-fashioned roses that if you closed your eyes, you'd be hard pressed not to think you were in a Victorian Era garden by the heavenly scent.

As you can see, lots of the rose petals fall before I get a chance to harvest them. These white ones go as quickly as they come and they serve more as a nice looking contrast to the pink ones when infusing in the bottle. For the true scent of the rose oil, the pink ones are the ultimate.

Harvesting the petals is the most fun, yet it's important to avoid the flying creatures who love them as much as I do. Bees are by the thousands and getting stung can be a hazard of the trade. I have avoided it thus far, but only by luck !

So here we are after picking fresh rose petals. For today, I'm using a small bottle (a spice bottle in fact), and half filling it with almond oil (grape seed is nice too). I squeeze in 1-2 vitamin E capsules contents to preserve the oil also. Home infused oils can go rancid quite quickly and if you're going to put the work in to make your own aromatherapy oil, you might as well take a few minutes to add something that will preserve it a bit longer.

Then it's a simple matter of packing the jar with rose petals. This 4-5 oz bottle holds about 1 cup of rose petals so you can see why pure rose essential oil might be just a bit pricey. Once the bottle is packed with petals, I continue to fill it slowly with more oil until it completely covers the top layer of rose petals. This is important. If any of the petals stick out from the oil itself, they will mold and spoil the entire bottle.

I then set the bottle in a warm window and allow time and the sun to do their part in drawing the natural rose oil from the petals and infusing it into the almond oil. I will watch it over the next week and make sure to top off the oil level as needed so no rose petals are exposed. Then it's simply a matter of the "sniff" test to know when it's time to remove the petals and strain the oil for use.

I hope you enjoyed this project and come back and visit soon !

Linking to Whatever Goes Wednesday by Someday Crafts

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

An Easy Breezy Summer Project for the Garden Enthusiast

This is an easy project for the gardening enthusiast or as a gift to make for one! Simple and fun, this windsock made from a garden glove is a great project for a lazy hazy summer day !

Combine one ladies' garden glove, grosgrain ribbon and matching buttons in vibrant colors, a stenciled-on flower and some filament line to hang it and you've got a garden glove windsock.

For complete instructions and step by step photos on this project, click here
Enjoy !

Monday, June 7, 2010

Maine Crafts: Giving New Life to An Old Glass Vase

So the question is: is it a vase or is it a candle holder?

I proudly admit that the price was nice and the work was easy.
It entailed a free (but ugly) vase, and $1 worth of supplies. Oh, and 10 minutes of my time.
Just the way I like it!

Maine crafters are thrifty and pretty darn creative.

Check out Mainely My Creations to see how I made it. :-)

Linking to Trash to Treasure Tuesday at Reinvented.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays

Well, in this case, 'rainy days and Sundays really get me down'-as the song goes. But not always. Rain in Maine means more vibrant colors and well, grass. Lots of it. And that's ok too. I love walking barefoot in the grass. I remember visiting friends in Queens, New York and noting the signs around the apartment complexes to "not walk on the grass". My initial thought was, "what the...???" I guess you can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl. (Isn't that a song, too?) Enjoy the rainy Sunday, if you're lucky enough to be having one. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More of Maine's Floral Wonders

Coming directly from my backyard, with Maine's short growing season it is important to "immortalize" the flora through photography before the bloom time fades. Interestingly, where the patio furniture now sits was a small ornamental pond just a short time ago. 
For a gorgeous close-up photo of wild Maine phlox, see Maine Pics.


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